Categories: News

F1 sport: Aston Martin, the Alonso effect

Fernando Alonso created a small element of surprise by climbing, with Aston Martin, on the podium of the first Grand Prix of the season. However, the rise of the British team was predictable due to the huge investments made.



Qhat must be able to think Sebastian Vettel? The quadruple world champion, and young retiree from F1, left Aston Martin at the end of 2022, after a sad twelfth place in the championship. In two seasons contested in green, the German had obtained only one podium. From the first Grand Prix in 2023, his successor Fernando Alonso did just as well, and even better, because it was a podium obtained on a regular basis. Third in Bahrain after overtaking the Mercedes and a Ferrari, Fernando Alonso could well be the hair to scratch among the usual top teams this season. “It has been a long winter of work. We had to spend a lot of time at the factory, because I was changing teams, Alonso points out. We had many meetings with Lance Stroll and the engineers to describe to them what we needed. The numbers in the wind tunnel were good, but it had to work on the track, and we succeeded. We had the second best car in Bahrain. It’s a surprise, but I’m very happy and proud. ” Alonso, 41, criticized last summer after choosing to leave Alpine to join Aston Martin, is silencing his critics. However, there was reason to doubt. Basically, after his two years at Alpine, the Spaniard wanted to stay in the French team. But faced with management’s refusal to offer him a contract over several seasons, and given the salary offered by Aston Martin – which would be at least double, or even triple what he received at Alpine -, Fernando Alonso had decided in favor of the British. Not always inspired in his career choices, the Spaniard left Alpine, fourth in the championship, for a team only seventh. Ultimately, the choice pays off, in every sense of the word.

A positive and constructive Alonso

Since the start of his career in 2001, veteran Alonso has not always spared his teams. The end of his collaboration with Alpine took place in a heavy atmosphere, with a multiplication of bitter declarations and acid attacks from the Spaniard towards his team. His other former teams, McLaren and Ferrari, have never regretted his departure. Today, Aston Martin discovers the good Alonso, the one who gets involved, who speaks positively, who wears the costume of leader. Internally, we are already talking about an Alonso effect. “You can’t describe the energy he brought to us, confides Mike Krack, the director of Aston Martin. He is extremely constructive. He helps us to develop the car and the team, he pushes us to the maximum. We needed that to go one step further. ” Alonso, a shrewd politician, never misses an opportunity to highlight the potential and performance of Lance Stroll, he who so often took pleasure in demolishing his teammates. Important clarification: Lance Stroll is the son of Lawrence Stroll, owner of the team and the Aston Martin brand. Thus, Fernando Alonso did not even complain about the touch of his teammate in the first lap, going so far as to salute “Heroic Performance” of the Canadian in this race, less than two weeks after a violent fall on the bike. Indeed, victim of fractures to both wrists and big toe, Stroll had missed winter testing, but finished sixth in the Bahrain Grand Prix, confirming the potential of the Aston Martin. “This car is a pleasure to drive, but the last twenty laps it was starting to hurt, says Stroll. Twelve days ago I was having surgery, and a week ago I was in a hospital bed: I couldn’t walk or move both hands. I’m very happy for the team with Fernando’s podium. ”


Behind the ultra-dominant Red Bull team in Bahrain, Ferrari struggled in the race, Mercedes and Alpine seem to have regressed, McLaren has collapsed, while Aston Martin has made gigantic progress. Not as fast as Ferrari in qualifying, the green single-seater displays an impressive pace in the race, while sparing its rubbers. Maestro at the wheel, Fernando Alonso used all his mischief to surprise Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes during a masterful overtaking in a bend where no one overtakes. Then he got rid of Sainz’s Ferrari, punctuating his maneuver with a “ bye-bye ” in the radio. “I lacked top speed, so you had to be creative to overtake in unexpected places”, comments Alonso.



An aggressive recruitment policy

How has Aston Martin been able to progress so much and make the leap forward that Mercedes or Alpine have not been able to do? While the team should soon settle in its new state-of-the-art factory, it has already recruited excellent engineers by hunting at opposing stables. First up is Dan Fallows, technical director of Aston Martin since April 2022. He had previously been Red Bull’s chief aerodynamicist for eight years. His new deputy, Frenchman Eric Blandin, had been Mercedes’ aero chief since 2011. An aggressive recruitment policy, orchestrated by Lawrence Stroll, which irritates the competition. “Seven people were poached from with us, deplores Helmut Marko, one of the leaders of Red Bull. Our chief aerodynamicist was taken from us by Aston Martin at the cost of disproportionate remuneration. We see today that the Aston Martin looks a lot like the Red Bull. We obviously can’t erase what Dan Fallows has in his head. Copying is not forbidden, but how can one copy in such proportions? ” Accusations of plagiarism are already erupting. We remember that in 2020, the Aston Martin team, when it was still called Racing Point, was accused of having cloned the Mercedes. This season, the similarities with the Red Bull are so obvious that Sergio Pérez, who came second in the Bahrain Grand Prix behind Max Verstappen, joked: “It’s nice to have three Red Bulls on the podium. ” Certainly, the level of performance of Aston Martin disturbs the top teams, who imagined competing for victories between them. Red Bull seems to have a certain margin, but Ferrari and Mercedes will have to react quickly, because Aston Martin still has to improve. “ The car will evolve, explains Alonso. For now, we have the first version of our new concept. Some teams are a continuation of 2022, we have changed 95% of the car, so we still have to learn and improve. Initially, the goal this season was to be in the middle of the pack. We didn’t even hope to get a podium. Since the winter tests, I tell myself that it’s too good to be true, I expect to find reality at some point. I am very curious to see our level in Saudi Arabia and Australia, on very different circuits. If we are good there then we will have a great season. “A good reason not to miss the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, broadcast unencrypted this Sunday on Canal+.

Théo Pourchaire (photo) winner of the main race, Victor Martins on the podium of the sprint race on the occasion of his first start in F2: the French team ART GPa started the season perfectly in Bahrain with its French driver duo. For his third season in the discipline, Pourchaire, also an Alfa Romeo reserve driver in F1, is aiming for the title in this F2 championship with four Frenchmen. As for the other two members of this quartet: Isack Hadjar scored points for his debut, unlike Clément Novalak. Second round this weekend in Jeddah.


The Indycar season got off to a good start for Romain Grosjean (pictured), securing pole position for the first race of the season. Longtime leader, the Frenchman was looking forward to his first victory in Indycar when he found himself in the fight with McLaughlin, who came out of the pits and whose virile defense caused a collision. “I’m very disappointed, we had a really fast car”, lamented Grosjean, not consoled by his rival’s apologies. The other tricolor, Simon Pagenaud, was the victim of a pile-up at the start of the race.


Recent Posts

He exceeds the speed limit by 100 km / h, his Camaro seized

In the Doubs, a motorist was intercepted at more than 180 km / h on…

50 mins ago

Motorways: towards a reduction in toll rates on certain networks?

The Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire would consider reducing the duration of concessions…

3 hours ago

This mythical rally car of the ’80s is going to be resurrected

Motorsport Tools (MST), a Welsh company, intends to revive the MG Metro 6R4, one of…

4 hours ago

Is living in a campervan as economical as it looks?

Life in a converted van would not be economical. In any case, this is the…

10 hours ago

A robot in the shape of an arm charges your electric car!

Hyundai's automatic charging robot has an arm that allows it to connect to the vehicle…

12 hours ago

He must pay 2000 euros for having raised the barrier of a parking lot by hand

Stuck in a parking lot because of an automatic barrier that does not work, he…

18 hours ago

At only 8 years old, he drives his father’s car, co-pilot

This father wanted to please his son but he will have to answer in front…

23 hours ago